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Musings: Can A Hug Make You Happy?

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“I don’t see if it is a man or a woman. I don’t see anyone different from my own self. A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature.”   Mata Amritanandamayi

Musings: Can A Hug Make You Happy? Amma’s motherly hug helps…

Can a hug make you happy? When was the last time you got a heart-warming, comforting bear hug?  Something we all deserve, and even need for our survival is a soothing, healing touch. I remember reading an article, years ago, about babies in an Eastern European orphanage who thrived when they were touched and didn’t when they were not. It is little wonder that children cherish their mother’s loving touch, and that millions of people have traveled far and wide to receive the loving, healing hugs of Mata Amritanandamayi; affectionately called Amma and known as the hugging saint. Amma travels the world, sharing her spiritual teachings and dispensing warm and tender hugs to people who come to meet her.  As Amma explains it, her public hugs began when “People used to come and tell [me] their troubles. They would cry and I would wipe their tears. When they fell weeping into my lap, I used to hug them. Then the next person too wanted it… And so the habit picked up.” Today, she gives them liberally at public programs in the USA and worldwide. I can vouch that Amma’s hugs are as loving as they are comforting. When we feel love, our happiness bubbles up and we share same with others.

“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.”  Bil Keane

Musings: Can A Hug Make You Happy? A happy hug is golden…

The key quality of a great hug is that both the giver and the receiver feel a mutual connection and that the hug is given freely without ulterior motives. As I prepared this post, I was reminded that for those who are survivors of molestation, all hugs are not created equal and, therefore, it is important to note the difference. So an important point about happy hugging is that it is not only about how you deliver them, but also about how you receive them. A safe, loving hug can be a joyful healing experience and that is the type that adds to our happiness.  We recognize the difference by how it makes us feel. More below. 😉

“Men greet each other with a sock on the arm, women with a hug, and the hug wears better in the long run.”  Edward Hoagland

Musings: Can A Hug Make You Happy? Hugs are healing…

When we hug another soul with love and joy, for that brief moment, we receive and connect with the other person completely.  As Charlotte Charles from the show Pushing Daisies suggests: “Hugs are like an emotional Heimlich. Someone puts their arms around you and they give you a squeeze and all your fear and anxiety come shooting out of your mouth in a big wet wad and you can breath again.” Can a hug make you happy? Sure, it can!  Have you hugged someone today?  What are your thoughts? Can a hug make you happy? Do you like to get hugs? When was the last time you got a hug? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a prompt from SoulPancake: Almost, Not Quite Right: Can a Hug Make You Happy?

For More: Women’s Lives & Issues 

Positive Motivation Tip: A hug can heal our hurts and calm our nerves. Hug freely but wisely.

More Wellness Boosters/Affirmations & Resources

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Amma Hug, Gold hug, HugMe, via Wikipedia. Or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

105 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/12/2011 8:09 pm

    A hug is more than just a is a tug where souls are shared! I love them..I do them!

    • 03/12/2011 10:13 am

      I love hugs too… especially when they are genuinely shared. Loving hugs are soul food and healing. (((((Chris)))) Hug! 😉

  2. 02/12/2011 8:12 pm

    I love hugging and being hugged….soooooooo wonderful.

    • 03/12/2011 10:14 am

      Same here… Nothings beats a warm embrace between loved ones… Speaks volumes; more than words. (((((Pocket P)))) Hug! 😉

  3. 02/12/2011 10:13 pm

    Nothing beats a good hug!

    • 03/12/2011 10:14 am

      I agree Barb and here’s one for you too. (((((Barb)))) Hug! 😉

  4. 02/12/2011 10:16 pm

    Hug is Love , 🙂

    • 03/12/2011 10:15 am

      Yes, it is love and health and happiness and more… (((((Jake)))) Hug! 😉

  5. 02/12/2011 10:58 pm

    I feel I needed a hug now. I tweet a lot and Twitter friends send (((hugs))) but its not physical. I live alone and the one thing I miss is the spontaneous hug. My ex husband is dying so I get sympathy hugs from friends and work colleagues at the moment. When I see my daughters we have mother/daughter hugs but I don’t get to see my girls very often as they live a distance away. Lots of different types of hugs all make me feel better. Lovely thought provoking post.

    • 03/12/2011 10:07 am

      Sending you more virtual/cyber hugs Ronnie… (((((Ronnie)))) Hug! 😉
      I know they’re not quite the same as a real live hug, but I hope you feel our hugs coming your way… Hugs are wonderfully healing and they do reassure us that we are fully alive and connected. 🙂 TY!

  6. 02/12/2011 11:12 pm

    A hug can certainly make me happy 🙂 Nice post Liz.

    • 03/12/2011 10:16 am

      It does put a big smile on my face and every time I get or give a hug, I feel blessed and healed… (((((Walter)))) Hug! 😉

  7. 02/12/2011 11:38 pm

    I love hugs, and as you say both the giver and the receiver must be equally invested in the hug. I had many of these experiences today when i spoke at a March of Dimes event to introduce my Pediatricians for an award. The whole day was filled with genuine warmth filled hugs and it can be transformative. Giving energy and peace where it may not have been before. Thanks for writing about this Liz, as always you are spot on!

    • 03/12/2011 10:09 am

      TY Shannon,
      Hugs can be transformative and help shift our mood. (((((Shannon)))) Hug! ;-)Sounds like a productive uplifting event you had today… 😉

  8. 03/12/2011 12:10 am

    I love hugs! Great post again Eliz. Here’s a hug from me 😉

    • 03/12/2011 10:18 am

      I love hugs too and TY for sharing yours with me today. Here’s one for you too. (((((Lian)))) Hug! 😉

  9. 03/12/2011 2:19 am

    Definitely! But also uncomfortable, depending on who’s giving it.

    • 03/12/2011 10:19 am

      Right… We can tell a forced hug from a loving one. I think when we open our hearts and share a hug joyfully, and the other party is receptive, it is blissful.(((((Tilly)))) Hug! 😉

  10. 03/12/2011 3:06 am

    I agree with you. All of us need hugs even adults.

    • 03/12/2011 10:21 am

      Yes, there is no age limit on hugging. Everyone needs a loving hug. (((((Cocomino)))) Hug! 😉

  11. 03/12/2011 6:13 am

    Great post and completely true – according to scientist Paul Zak hugs cause our brains to release oxytocin which helps to create bonds between us – amongst other things – you might be interested in this –

    • 03/12/2011 10:23 am

      TY for adding your link on the subject, I will add it to the post. I do believe that hugging has healing, bonding properties too and much has been noted on the subject. we should all hug more… that is why many cultures use it as a form of welcome. TY! (((((CreatingR)))) Hug! 😉

  12. 03/12/2011 6:25 am


    • 03/12/2011 10:24 am

      TY Nancy for your virtual/cyber hug. I love them too. 🙂 Here’s mine to you.
      (((((Nancy)))) Hug! 😉

  13. 03/12/2011 6:25 am

    I love this post…
    Every day I will get very warm hugs from my husband and my sons 🙂
    Whenever my sons quarrel, they will say sorry and will hug each other too 😉
    I agree that hugs are very important 🙂

    • 03/12/2011 10:25 am

      Beautiful… You are truly blessed. Hugs are definitely important. Here’s another one for you. (((((Yulia)))) Hug! 😉

  14. 03/12/2011 7:34 am

    I’m a huge fan of hugs!

    • 03/12/2011 10:26 am

      Me too and I love the sensation of heart touching heart… Here’s one for you. 🙂
      (((((Natalie)))) Hug! 😉

  15. 03/12/2011 8:28 am

    I read an article where a compassionate hug or even a simple tender touch can help a person heal faster.

    • 03/12/2011 10:11 am

      I agree and believe they work as we find that when people in great pain are hugged, they feel some calm again. Here’s one for you (((((Fergiemoto)))) Hug! 😉
      TY! 🙂

  16. 03/12/2011 11:06 am

    Love it! Here’s to more hugs! 🙂

    • 03/12/2011 12:24 pm

      Here’s one right backatcha! (((((Carlaat)))) Hug! 😉

  17. 03/12/2011 1:21 pm

    I am a huge hugger. I hug everyone. The ones I know that hate to be hugged I ask first. They answer with a resounding NO. I keep asking and asking until overtime I wear them down. Then I only hug them for a split second. I don’t want to ruin it. Here is my ((hug)) to you.

    • 03/12/2011 11:54 pm

      That was a riot… You ask till you wear them down! 😆 I love hugs too and would love to see more of us do it. It is quite common in some cultures but not here in the USA. Here is one for you ! (((((Life is…)))) Hug! 😉

  18. 03/12/2011 1:29 pm

    Hugs and cuddles are very important in my view. Especially children. Hugs make us feel safe. Or they make me feel safe.

    • 03/12/2011 11:55 pm

      Yes and that is why the source matters too. I love hugs and when I get them from a loving person, it is quite healing…TY! (((((Robyn)))) Hug! 😉

  19. 03/12/2011 3:45 pm

    Hugs are really important. When I saw this woman on television I really envied the people she hugged. I wanted one, too. They said they had a really good feeling from her hugs… In Jamaica we are quite into hugs, and some of my favorite people have the greatest hugs… I just wait to claim them. I like a really TIGHT hug, though. Preferably from a big man. 🙂

    • 03/12/2011 11:58 pm

      Oh you are funny!!! I send you blessings for such a big man hug. 😉 Yes, Amma’s hugs are soothing and healing… and one has to experience it to truly understand and appreciate it. (((((Petchary)))) Hug! 😉

  20. 03/12/2011 4:24 pm

    This was such a feel-good post–like a big hug! In my classes we often have group hugs–even the very shy kids will sidle up and throw their arms around someone.

    • 03/12/2011 11:59 pm

      WoW! What an amazing thing… Your students must appreciate the way you encourage them to connect with each other from the heart… beautiful. (((((PetalPusher)))) Hug! 😉

  21. 03/12/2011 4:30 pm

    Hugs are so important: our family does not give them or like to get them, it’s what I call “A THING.” I am the opposite: I LOVE TO GIVE AND Get them…but right now I am sending YOU Eliz, a virtual hug…my favorite thing to do today for you.

    • 04/12/2011 12:01 am

      Hugs are really important and yes, some people don’t feel comfortable getting them… we respect their request and move forward. TY for your hug and here’s mine for you. 🙂 (((((Jackie)))) Hug! 😉

  22. 03/12/2011 5:39 pm

    Love, love giving and getting hugs. Got one today from someone I’d just met — we’ve “known” each other only via the emails we’ve been exchanging for a little over a year.
    As I read, I thought about a young cousin of mine who stiffens whenever you approach to hug her, and she’s never been abused. We haven’t figured out why she doesn’t like being touched but every now and then, I tell her I need a hug from her. She usually smiles and complies.

    • 04/12/2011 12:04 am

      Interesting with your cousin’s discomfort with hugging. I suppose some people just don’t feel comfortable with others being that close to their psychic space. And for such individuals, it is extremely important to ask first. TY!
      (((((Marcia)))) Hug! 😉

  23. 03/12/2011 6:12 pm

    working in ministry gives me ample opportunity to give and recieve my fair share of hugs…the right kind of hugs are comforting to the soul.

    • 04/12/2011 12:05 am

      Indeed they are comforting to the soul… I can imagine you and the hugs you get…. you work in that environment. 🙂 Here’s my virtual hug/cyber hug for you.
      (((((Jeanne)))) Hug! 😉

  24. 04/12/2011 3:52 am

    Hugs should be included in our daily nutritional requirements for healthy living. The late Dr.Leo Buscaglia, (THE “HUG” DOCTOR) was a champion of the value of the hug and there is a whole campaign for giving free hugs. Here’s a free hug video shot in Brooklyn –

    • 04/12/2011 6:10 pm

      Yes, I read Dr/ Leo’s work in college and a big fan even after he passed away. Hugs are healing and I bet they’d make our nutritional levels better. 🙂
      (((((A Tree grows…)))) Hug! 😉

  25. 04/12/2011 5:48 am

    calm our nerves – at least for a moment, yes;
    how long?
    for an hour, a week, a year?
    what was the hug
    longest away which we can remember?

    • 04/12/2011 6:11 pm

      Yes, even a hug for a moment is a good thing… The memory stays long after a warm hug. What matters is that we felt the love communicated. 😉 Here’s one for you. (((((Frizztext)))) Hug! 😉

  26. 04/12/2011 1:39 pm

    I so love this post, and yes a hug can make you happy. I don’t know how many I got yesterday when I was at my grandmother funeral. Without them I don’t think I coulda made it through the ordeal. I have always bn hugging person. God Bless U:)

    • 04/12/2011 6:13 pm

      God bless you too … and my condolences over your Grandma’s passing. I’m sure the hugs made a huge difference as they are truly one of he best ways to comfort others… 🙂 Here’s another one for you. (((((Poeticjourney)))) Hug! 😉

  27. 05/12/2011 8:37 am

    If one is open to a hug, it can make a huge difference in how one feels. NO ONE has too much loved and affection expressed to them.

    • 06/12/2011 8:17 pm

      Yes, we can all benefit from loving hugs… if we are open to it. Some people don’t like hugs though… and that’s fine too. 😉
      Here’s one for you: (((((James)))) Hug! 😉

  28. 12/07/2015 7:20 am

    Reblogged this on Mirth and Motivation and commented:

    “The sun shines down, and its image reflects in a thousand different pots filled with water. The reflections are many, but they are each reflecting the same sun. Similarly, when we come to know who we truly are, we will see ourselves in all people.” Mata Amritanandamayi, (The Hugging Saint)
    Give Someone a Hug Today: We all need a loving touch and each of us reflect the same sun. In NYC, from this Sunday through Tuesday, Amma will be at The Javits Center, dispensing her special brand of hugging love. Go get a hug and give a hug
    If, as per our WordPress Daily Prompts, I could honor a person today, it would be Amma for love wisdom and humanitarian efforts. Have a great week ahead everyone!

  29. Harbans permalink
    12/07/2015 7:49 am

    Yes a huge hug with emotional tinge makes huge huge difference,

  30. 12/07/2015 12:45 pm

    Hugs are good to give and receive, hugs to you Eliz.

  31. Maria Teresa Figuerres permalink
    12/07/2015 6:18 pm

    Definitely, a hug can make me happy, especially a warm one coming from my sweet 9-year-old son. He also expects a tight hug from me every single day. Hugs, kisses and I love you’s complete our day.

  32. Chad permalink
    23/01/2020 1:23 pm

    This is beautiful and yesssss!!! Human touch is proven to help a lot, I love to give and to receive hugs.

  33. JoyDellaVita permalink
    23/01/2020 2:21 pm

    Always fan of your articles! Very inspiring thanks for sharing 🙂
    btw I love the painting you used in this article, would you mind sharing the name of the artist?

  34. Ching permalink
    23/01/2020 7:05 pm

    The best hugs for me are from people who are not in a hurry to let go🥰

  35. Chelsea Sauve - Wandure permalink
    24/01/2020 3:31 am

    What a beautiful reflection on the power of human connection – a hug is such a beautiful way to explore the power of touch, the exchange of energy, and the basic human need for gentle touch! And Amma sounds like a lovely soul. Thanks for a fabulous post. Sending hugs!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      31/01/2020 9:52 am

      Thank you! 🙂

  36. Kenny Ngo permalink
    24/01/2020 6:29 am

    Hugs can do so much. For me it helps pacify me when I mad, sad, or freaking out. Hugs are something that I value. It’s more intimate in my opinion.

  37. Celebrate Woman (@DiscoverSelf) permalink
    24/01/2020 6:46 am

    HUGS are essential for our mental and emotional stability.
    More to that, it has been confirmed by numerous studies.
    Psychologists believe that children need 12 hugs a day for maintenance and even more for growth. But hug as much as you need and want! It is all goodness and joy.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      31/01/2020 9:52 am

      Yes, there is solid research on the subject.

  38. Beauty with Lala (@Pink_Frenzy) permalink
    24/01/2020 9:11 am

    Hug makes everything better 🙂 and it does make me happy

  39. Sushmita R Malakar permalink
    24/01/2020 11:47 am

    Hugs are the best! I have actually lived through the toughest of the times after having that comforting hug from someone who loves me – mom, dad, best friend, husband. A hug is powerful. A hug is the most effective source of positive energy!

  40. Hannah Holyfield permalink
    24/01/2020 6:27 pm

    I love hugs! I think hugs really are important for every person! I know that I can tell when I haven’t hugged my children enough because they become more irritable and moody.

  41. Kevin Akidi permalink
    24/01/2020 9:35 pm

    A hug can definitely make you feel better. It just has to be the right situation and the right person. A hug given with true feelings and intentions can go a long way in making you feel better

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      31/01/2020 9:51 am

      Yes, it can…

  42. Megan Kerry permalink
    25/01/2020 6:33 am

    I get all kinds of hugs every day from my kids. It makes a big difference when you get to cuddle up and snuggle a little. It always makes me feel good!!

  43. Eileen M Loya permalink
    26/01/2020 5:11 am

    Hugs are definitely healing. I experience relief from pain when my grandson hugs me and says, “I love you so much Nana. No more ouchy, okay?”

  44. Erik the Hungry Traveller permalink
    26/01/2020 7:06 am

    I’m not usually a hugger but when I hug I really do mean it. And yes I don’t take hugs lightly as it just has that healing touch especially if it’s a sincere hug.

  45. Michael permalink
    27/01/2020 1:16 am

    Generally yes especially if you want the person. Hehe.. Its kind of calming everything down right? Hopefully we can do it more in the future..

  46. Ewa permalink
    27/01/2020 10:08 am

    Hugs give comfort and love and a hug from the right person makes me the happiest person in the world.

  47. kidneyfornikki permalink
    27/01/2020 11:07 am

    My son is almost grown but he still wants a hug from his mother. He likes to act like it doesn’t matter though since he’s almost grown! LOL My daughter still loves her hugs!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      31/01/2020 9:51 am

      Yes, most of us still do. 🙂

  48. Alexis permalink
    27/01/2020 12:55 pm

    Hugs are essential for happiness and bonding! Human touch is powerful.

  49. Kristine Nicole Alessandra permalink
    27/01/2020 6:54 pm

    Everyday I pick up my grandson from school and the first thing he does when he sees me is run to me and give me a tight hug. Such a sweet little boy. Hugs are healing. I enjoy giving and receiving hugs everytime there is a chance to do so!

  50. momi berlin permalink
    27/01/2020 7:20 pm

    If I am not a believer of hug, i might say no. because it seems so normal and ordinary. but having a little one who loves to give hugs almost every hug, i believe he makes me sane and feel really loved because of that.

  51. Olya Aman permalink
    27/01/2020 10:18 pm

    It always uplifts my spirits to stop by your blog and read your writings.

  52. Joanna permalink
    28/01/2020 12:37 am

    I have always believed that hugs are wonderful, they can not on;y make you feel better but are also a great way of comforting each other. A hug is a big demonstration of care.

  53. Jessica Collazo permalink
    28/01/2020 7:37 am

    Yes a hug can make me so happy and it can be so liberating.

  54. GiGi Eats Celebrities permalink
    28/01/2020 8:16 am

    Hugs don’t necessarily make me HAPPY – but they bring fleeting joy for those few seconds, which can then put me in a better mood.

  55. Crickette, The Things I Have to Say permalink
    28/01/2020 11:16 am

    I think yes. But mostly there is something about a hug that really brings some warmth. I remember when my dad died, I was at work in the hospital when I found out and I was devastated. I was crying incessantly and the nurse decided to hug me… to hug me so tight until I finally calmed down.

    That was the most powerful hug I’ve ever received.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      31/01/2020 9:50 am

      Yes, they are healing in so many ways.

  56. Jasmine - Blogging and Living permalink
    28/01/2020 12:05 pm

    I feel so much better when someone hugs me. It’s welcoming and in my mind it feels like “This person cares enough to touch me.” LOL It’s just a nice connection when someone hugs you.

  57. amberleshae permalink
    28/01/2020 12:43 pm

    I’m such a fan of the tight warm hugs!

  58. Fatima D Torres permalink
    28/01/2020 4:04 pm

    Hugs are always appreciated around here. We give our kids hugs often to remind them that we’re here for them.

  59. StephJ permalink
    29/01/2020 3:22 am

    Hugs and smiles all make me so happy. even when I am the most upset or angry!

  60. Maartje van Sandwijk permalink
    29/01/2020 3:38 am

    I love hugs and they can definitely make people happy! There’s something really comforting about them!

  61. lisamfucci permalink
    29/01/2020 10:51 am

    Hugs are amazing!!!! Best things ever!!!! So comforting and loving. Especially puppy hugs.

  62. Kiwi permalink
    29/01/2020 11:28 am

    I know for sure a hug can make me happy. A baby I know who is 18 months old and he gives the best hugs it’s just pure joy!

  63. Fatima D Torres permalink
    29/01/2020 5:44 pm

    Hugs do have a way of making your feel better. More so when tragedy strikes.

  64. Kevin Akidi permalink
    29/01/2020 7:03 pm

    A hug definitely makes anyone happy. There is nothing like a great hug from a loved one when you are having a bad day. It makes everything better.

  65. Bree L. permalink
    30/01/2020 9:59 am

    This statement is exactly true: The key quality of a great hug is that both the giver and the receiver feel a mutual connection and that the hug is given freely without ulterior motives. I love hugs!

  66. Maansi permalink
    30/01/2020 11:44 am

    A hug an instant mood booster!! Great post <3 especially group hugs!!

  67. Nicole permalink
    30/01/2020 11:46 am

    I definitely think a hug can make you happy! They are great to give and get. My favorite hugger in my 3 year old son. No hugs are better than his!

  68. Angela Ricardo Bethea permalink
    01/02/2020 5:51 am

    I totally agree and believe that hugs can make someone happy. We have whats called a mental hug which we need to get or give hugs at least 12 times a day.

  69. Autumn permalink
    01/02/2020 6:25 pm

    A hug is such a simple yet powerful gesture. I know with my loved ones (especially my daughter) I always let her hug me as often and as long as she needs!

  70. Arun Dahiya permalink
    02/02/2020 8:11 am

    Wow. Hugs are sweet and blissfull. In my pre primary class, daily in morning we start the day by hugging each other .


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